Tensions Flare On Senate Floor Over GOP Senator's Remarks On Muslim Brotherhood

Apr 27, 2018

Michigan Senate Chamber - file photo
Credit Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) Tensions were high on the Senate floor Thursday when a lawmaker doubled down on claims that Muslim terrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the US. 

Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) is running for governor. A Buzzfeed article recently uncovered a presentation Colbeck gave. In it, he accuses a Democratic candidate for governor of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Colbeck has offered no proof to support this claim. Colbeck did not mention Abdul El-Sayed in his floor speech Thursday, but he did reiterate his belief that there is a “civilization jihad” plot against America furthered by the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The organizations which share the professed mission of the Muslim brotherhood to destroy our nation from within are real, not theoretical,” Colbeck said Thursday. “They are active right here in the state of Michigan.”

Colbeck said Muslims have gained positions of power in places like Hamtramck and Dearborn – where they plan to implement Sharia Law. There’s no evidence to support that second claim. But that hasn’t stopped some fringe groups from stoking fears about it.

Democratic Senator David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) denounced Colbeck’s views after Colbeck’s speech.

“This type of behavior is a kind of cheap rip-off of Joseph McCarthy,” he said. “Spreading hatred, pseudo intellectualism.”

The Senate president repeatedly banged the gavel at Knezek for his comments against Colbeck, like,

“Yes I hope you’re looking at me Senator, as I call you a coward.”

Senate rules do not allow members to disparage other members during floor speeches. Republican leaders in the House and Senate did not have any comment on Colbeck’s beliefs.